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Death row inmate celebrates daughter's birthday for the first time

Last Update: 20/06/2019

By Erma Idayu Mohd Yusop

GEORGE TOWN, June 20 (Bernama) -- Excitement was clearly shown on the face of death row inmate Nasir (not his real name), when he was selected to participate in the Penang Remand Prison Aidilfitri programme where he was given the chance to spend time with his family.

What made it extra special day was that for the first time Nasir was able to celebrate his youngest daughter’s ninth birthday celebration.

Nasir, 36, who was convicted of drug trafficking in 2010, said that today was his daughter’s ninth birthday and he was very happy and grateful to be able to celebrate the Aidilfitri with his daughters and nine other family members.

"I have two daughters, aged 12 and nine. ‘Alhamdulillah’ (Praise be to Allah) that today we celebrate raya together as well as my daughter’s birthday with other family members, including my wheelchair-bound mother, 68.

“I’m very grateful that my mother and other siblings are always there giving me support even though I am on death row and they help looking after my two daughters after my wife and I separated,” he told reporters at the event.

Nazri, who is from Jalan Free School, Jelutong, said he really missed his father who passed away in April this year due to diabetes.

“The last time I made an appeal against the death sentence was in 2016. But until now there is still no decision made and I will continue waiting even though I'm not sure if there is any hope for me to go home,” he said.

Apart from Nazri, nine more prisoners including three death row inmates were selected to participate the Aidilfitri programme which allowed them to meet and spend time with their family members.

Another death row inmate who only wanted to be known as Mohamad Azam, 48, said he had been in jail for the past nine years for killing his friend before the court sentenced him to death in 2013.

He said the killing incident occurred when he and his friend were under the influence of drugs and he accepted the court decision and hoped that his three children and three grandchildren would accept the decision with open heart.

“I don’t blame anyone for the mistake as I know that it is my fault. Now, every time I have  my children  or relatives came for a visit I will tell them to stay away from drugs because it is not only harmful to yourself but will bring disaster to life,” said, Mohamad Azam who was also a former civil servant.

Mohamad Azam said he was grateful that his three children, aged 20 to 30, with three grandchildren, aged two to seven, always visited him especially during the Aidilfitri programme, including his 45-year-old ex-wife.

“I have made all the appeals in court and now I am hoping for the royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. However, I will accept whatever decision as being in prison has changed me into a better person,” he said.

Meanwhile, state prison director Tey Hock Soon said from 1,512 inmates, only 10 were selected to meet their families during the programme, and the selection was based on their good behaviour and discipline apart from the willingness of their family members to meet them.



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